With a mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese influences, Singapore’s cuisine reflects the melting pot it is. From authentic old-world style dishes such as bao (Chinese steamed buns) to uniquely Singaporean cuisine such as satay bee hoon, an endless variety of tantalising culinary creations await visitors to the sunny island.
One of the most popular dish visitors will find in Singaporean food centres is fishball noodles. A common ingredient utilised in soups, stir-fries and even fried rice, the quality of fishball is all-important in the execution of the dish. A good fishball will be delightfully firm, springy and clean tasting, served in piping hot broth. The noodles used is dependent on the eater’s preference with usual choices of mee kia (thin egg noodles), mee pok (thick egg noodles), kway teow (flat rice noodles) or even kway teow mee (flat rice noodles and yellow noodles). The dish is served wet or dry, again made to the diner’s request.
Fluffy, crispy and chewy all at once, there are few contenders for comfort food to roti prata. Originating from India, roti prata is one of the most popular flat bread dishes aside from naan (another Indian flatbread). Roti prata is made from flour, water and ghee, kneaded and proven before being tossed, stretched and fried over a hot plate, giving its lovely crisp exterior and soft, chewy interior. The piping hot prata is served with a bowl of Indian curry for diner to dip into. Diner can order a variety of fillings for their roti prata, from egg, onion and cheese to kaya and sweetened condensed milk.
MIXED ROAST ON RICE
A typical staple dish at any food centre you’ll visit in Singapore is the mixed roast. With a variety of roasted meats for customers to pick from, it is easy to see why the mixed roast is oftentimes the most popular hawker with long snaking queues. From roasted duck, honey barbecued chicken, steamed chicken barbecued pork to crispy skin pork (check out our simple recipe for this delicacy), customers can mix and match their favourite meats served on top of white rice or Hainan rice for their enjoyment. Do yourself a favour and sample the sambal balacan and garlic-ginger chilli sauce condiments.
Our pick for a hearty breakfast is the unassuming prawn mee. A perfectly executed bowl of prawn mee is a wonderful thing. Oodles of kway teow and egg noodles tossed in housemade balacan-based sauce, a potent spoonful of pork-prawn broth and lard, topped with juicy steamed prawns and tender pork ribs and finished off with freshly sliced spring onions and fried shallots. A steamy aromatic bowl of slow-simmered pork-prawn both is the perfect accompaniment.
A controversial dish perhaps, but rest assured, sambal stingray is utterly delicious. The house made sambal belacan is the key here – a good sambal is aromatic, zesty, spicy and imparts a unique fragrance on the stingray. The sambal is slathered over the stingray and slow-grilled over charcoal fire till the fish is cooked to lovely perfection. Best served with piping hot fried rice, the flesh of the stingray is firm and flavourful, pairing perfectly with the robust sambal.